Thursday is my poker night, so I only skimmed through the article before gathering up my box of change and heading out. I really shouldn't play poker at night; I'm a morning person and fade pretty fast after 6:00, but I was well rested that night and did well - $20.00 to the good in dime ante limit games is not bad at all.
Anyway, the poker made me think about implied odds. In poker, as in many situations, there are different kinds of odds. For example, if you are playing Texas Hold'Em and are dealt a pair of two's, you have (if I remember right) about a 13% chance of getting a match for your two's in the five community cards. If there are seven people in the game, your pot odds just about match up - in other words, you have an approximate seven to one chance of getting the "set" (three two's) and there is seven times your bet in the pot. Reasonable odds, so you'll probably play unless there are other indications that you shouldn't.
But if the flop (the first three of the five community cards that all players share) turns up, oh say, King - Jack - two, something very important just happened. Yes, you have that three of a kind, which is good. But there are also two high cards out there, so the chances are good that somebody has a high pair and will be betting against you. Your "implied odds" just went up dramatically. Understanding that means you can put in more money than the pot odds seem to indicate - chances are good that you can "push" this pot up (assuming your betting position allows it, and so on).
In poker, as in life, it's not how often you win or lose that matters, it's the size of the pots that you win that count. I only won four hands Thursday night (we usually play 40 or more each night), but they were very good pots, and all of them had great implied odds.
Back to Apple.
I think John Dvorak is just looking at pot odds. He thinks Apple has a small market share and could increase it by moving to Windows. I don't even agree with that assessment, but even if it did look like sticking with their own OS gave bad odds, it's their implied odds that are really important here. Apple is looking at great implied odds.
First, I've talked here before about virtualization on Intel Macs. That is Apple's low pair in the hole. Everybody gets to play in the virtualization game, but everybody else just gets high pairs: Windows hosting Linux, Linux hosting Windows. Only Mac gets the "set" - OS X, Windows, and Linux.
As Windows Vista is still only a promise, Mac has another advantage here. The guy with the giant pile of chips had to throw away his hand - he won't even be playing in this round and do we need to mention that he's been caught cheating so many times that he also has to get most of his bets approved?
Oh well, there are more hands to be played, right? And anything can happen. The nasty guy with the big stack may end up with the whole table's chips, but I don't think so. And it's definitely not in Apple's interest to fold its hand now.
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